Case Study

Valeur Absolue: Values-based entrepreneurship

19 pages
January 2024
Reference: IMD-7-2504

The case discusses the development of Valeur Absolue – the niche luxury perfume company – from its inception in 2012 through to 2022 and the leadership journey of its founder Bénédicte Foucart. In pursuit of her purpose to empower women and increase the positive energy in their lives, Bénédicte believed that she would be able to address women’s needs for well-being, authenticity and personalisation by offering a unique “plus que parfum” in a range of fragrances targeting various moods. Fast forward ten years: in 2022 the company is still developing, has overly-ambitious plans and no sustainable return on investment. Bénédicte starts to question whether her persistence has turned into stubbornness and what might be the best way forward just as a long-awaited order from one of the largest East Asia distributors of perfume and luxury goods lands on Bénédicte’s desk. This order will put the company under even more financial strain; however, it might also finally put them on the map to become an acquisition target. The reader is left to evaluate the strategic options for Valeur Absolue to pursue.

Learning Objective
  • Understand what it takes to construct strategy in an industry where the barrier to entry is low, but the competition is high.
  • Understand the leadership transition for corporate executives who become entrepreneurs.
  • Dealing with uncertainty in decision-making in the entrepreneurship journey.
  • Identify when “pulling the plug” might be the optimal path for an entrepreneur and the difficulties of putting this into practice.
Keywords
Female Leader
Settings
Europe, Switzerland
Valeur Absolue, Consumer Goods, Cosmetics and Perfumes
2011-2022
Type
Field Research
Copyright
© 2023
Available Languages
English
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